The Communications Authority of Kenya has scolded mobile phone companies for leaking a letter on it allegedly spying on Kenyans.
In the letter leaked to the media, CA ordered mobile phone companies Safaricom, Airtel and Orange Telecom Kenya to allow them tap into their computers with a device.
The device that insiders call “black boxes” is said to be copying the data passing through them to another database on the CA head office.
With this, it is believed the government will gain access to the texts and mobile phones transactions of individuals.
But CA director general Francis Wagusi denied the claims and lashed out at mobile operators for misleading the public.
“If they were not happy they could have come to us instead of leaking the letter. We consulted them,” an agitated Wangusi told the media on Friday.
Wangusi said they have been into consultations with the mobile operators and the stakeholders since last year and nobody complained of the same.
“To tell us that we are installing this device for accessing confidential data, is a total white lie. We at CA are very disturbed by this. Releasing this information is intended to mislead the public,” he said.
“They would have come to us. They were aware and they were part of the team who required solutions on this.”
He said the mobile operators were fighting the authority since they were trying to prevent it from finding some of the illegal trades they carry out.
“We have received reports of mini telephones mobile operators have. We have illegal sim boxes and the operators are jittery that when we put this device, it will switch off the illegal sim boxes,” he said.
Wangusi said contrary to the reports, Device Management System manages entry of illegal devices and prevents illegal access of information.
“We are protecting you. The DMS facilitates denial of services that are counterfeits and stolen phones. It black lists stolen phones from entering the country,” he said.
He said the authority does not have the time to listen to all the over 3 million talk minutes from over 35 million Kenyans.
“Who will have time to listen and read all the text messages? We are the best protectors and nobody can protect you like the CA,” he said.
Wangusi maintained that all mobile operators will be required to connect to the DMS.